My Present Past
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Leavenworth Pawnee & Western Railroad
The Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad Company was incorporated by the legislature of the territory of
Kansas in 1855, to build a railroad from the west bank of the Missouri river, in the town of Leavenworth, to or
near Fort Riley, and from thence to the western boundary of the territory, which was the east boundary of
Utah, on the summit of the Rocky mountains. In 1857 this act was amended so as to authorize the construction
of a branch from some favorable point on the main line to some point on the southern boundary of the territory,
where an easy connection could be made with a line of road extending to the Gulf of Mexico, and also of a
branch to the northern boundary of the territory. The company was organized under these acts in 1857, and
before January 1, 1862, had located its line from Leavenworth to Fort Riley, and had, to a large extent,
secured its right of way and depot grounds.
On the first of July, 1862, the first Pacific Railroad act was passed by congress, incorporating the Union
Pacific Railroad Company, and providing for government aid in the construction of the several roads brought into
the system, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. By section 9 of this act the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. By section
9 of this act the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad Company of Kansas was authorized to construct a
railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river, at the mouth of the Kansas river, on the south side
thereof, so as to connect with the Pacific Railroad of Missouri, to the point in the territory of Nebraska then
established as the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific road. Provision was made for government aid to this
company in all respects like that to the Union Pacific. Section 16 is as follows: 'That at any time after the
passage of this act all of the railroad companies named herein, and assenting hereto, or any two or more of
them, are authorized to form themselves into one consolidated company. Notice of such consolidation, in
writing, shall be filed in the department of the interior, and such consolidated company shall thereafter
proceed to construct said railroad and branches, and telegraph line, upon the terms and conditions provided in
this act.' The Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Company accepted the provisions of this act, and was
thereafter designated as the Union Pacific Railroad Company, Eastern Division. By the act of July 2, 1864, the
company was required to build its railroad from the mouth of the Kansas by way of Leavenworth, or, if that was
not deemed the best route, to build a branch from Leavenworth to the main stem at or near Lawrence. This act
also made provision, by section 16, for the consolidation of any two or more corporations embraced in the
system, upon such terms and conditions as they might agree upon, not incompatible with the laws of the states
in which the roads of the companies might be.
On the third of July 1866, the company was permitted to make its connection with the Union Pacific at any
point not more than 50 miles westerly from the meridian of Denver. By another act passed March 3, 1869, the
company was authorized to extend its road to Denver, in the territory of Colorado, and from there to make its
connection with the Union Pacific at Cheyenne, over the road of the Denver Pacific Railway & Telegraph
Company, a Colorado corporation; power being given to contract with the last-named company for that purpose.
On the same day a joint resolution was passed by congress, authorizing the Union Pacific Railroad Company,
Eastern Division, by a resolution of its directors, filed in the office of the secretary of the interior, to change
its name to the Kansas Pacific Railway Company. Under this authority the road was built from its junction with
the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Kansas City, Missouri, through Fort Riley, in Kansas, to Denver, in Colorado, and
government aid was furnished it under the acts of congress. From Denver it formed its connection with the
Union Pacific road at Cheyenne, over the road of the Denver Pacific Company. It also built a branch from
Leavenworth to Lawrence, but the road from Fort Riley to the original eastern terminus of the Union Pacific
was never constructed.
On the twenty-fourth of January, 1880, the Union Pacific Railroad Company, the Kansas Pacific Railway
Company, and the Denver Pacific Railway & Telegraph Company, acting under the authority of section 16 of the
Pacific Railroad act of July 1, 1862, and section 16 of the act of July 2, 1864, entered into an agreement for
the consolidation of the three corporations into one, by the name of the Union Pacific Railway Company, and
from that time the road of the Kansas Pacific Company, including that portion which lies in Kansas, has been
operated and managed as the Kansas Division of the Union Pacific Railway Company. At the first session of the
legislature of Kansas after this consolidation was effected, a resolution was passed directing the attorney
general to inquire into its legality, and to report whether, in his opinion, the consolidated company was amenable
to the laws of the state, whether the Union Pacific Railroad Company had usurped or was exercising rights and
franchises within the state not authorized by law, or had in any manner failed to comply with or had violated any
of the laws of the state, whether the Kansas Pacific Company was in law an existing corporation of the state;
and whether the state had lost jurisdiction over the property of the corporation. At the next session another
resolution was passed, directing the attorney general to institute proper proceedings in the supreme court of
the state, 'in the nature of quo warranto, against the Kansas Pacific Railway relinquishment, and surrender of
its relinquishment, and surrender of its powers as a corporation to such consolidated company, and also to
institute like proceedings against the consolidated company, the Union Pacific Railway Company, for usurping,
seizing, holding, possessing, and using the franchise and privileges, powers and immunities, of the
Kansas Pacific Railway Company in the state of Kansas.'
Poors' 1874-75
Leavenworth Pawnee & Western
Page 344
Poors' 1874-75
Leavenworth Pawnee & Western
Page 346
Poors' 1874-75
Leavenworth Pawnee & Western
Page 345
Poors' 1874-75
Leavenworth Pawnee & Western
Page 343
1857 Leavenworth City
Page 27
1857 Leavenworth City
Page 25
1857 Leavenworth City
Page 26
Above:
1857 Leavenworth City pages relating to the railroads and stages in
Leavenworth, Kansas

Land Grants for the Leavenworth Pawnee & Western Railroad, January 27th, 1862

Left and Bottom:
1874-75 Poors' Railroad Directory for the Leavenworth Pawnee & Western Railroad.
At this time the name had been changed to the Kansas Pacific Railroad.